Adele Says Her Forthcoming ’30’ Is a Rollercoaster: ‘I Feel Like This Album Is Self-Destruction… and Self-Redemption’

·3-min read

Adele, the 15-time Grammy winner with over 120 million records sold globally, had her first sit-down interview in five years with British Vogue, to discuss her fourth studio album, “30,” her divorce and inevitable return to the spotlight.

The star, who gave her last one-on-one interview in 2016, said, “I have to sort of gear myself up to be famous again, which, famously, I don’t really like being.”

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In the past five years, the “Hello” star has been raising her son Angelo and gotten married and divorced to her now ex-husband, Simon Konecki. Adele said the new album explains her life changes, but is ultimately a letter to her now 9-year-old son. “My son has had a lot of questions. Really good questions, really innocent questions, that I just don’t have an answer for … (like) why can’t you still live together?… I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”

But the article describes her as being “done with lambasting her exes in her lyrics,” quoting the singer as saying, “I have to really address myself now.”

Adele’s British Vogue cover
Adele’s British Vogue cover

Adele married the businessman in 2018 when she was 30 — the titular name of the album — and said the record will encourage those lost in a relationship to move on. “Can you imagine couples listening to it in the car? It’d be so awkward. I think a lot of women are going to be like, ‘I’m done.’”

The star explained what she hopes for in “30,” comparing it to her two previous blockbusters: “I was drunk as a fart on ’21’; I really don’t remember much, I just remember being really sad. On ’25,’ I was obviously sober as anything, because I was a new mum. That one, I was sort of more in tune with what I thought people might want or not want. With this one, I made the very conscious decision to be like, for the first time in my life, actually, ‘What do I want?’”

What she wanted, in part, was to resume working with Greg Kurstin, who paired famously well with her on “25,” and Max Martin, Inflo (known for his work with Sault) and Swedish composer and producer Ludwig Göransson, who won an Academy Award for his “Black Panther” score and has worked closely with Childish Gambino. There are no featured guests on the record.

No song titles from the forthcoming album are revealed in the interview, although the writer, who heard four of the tracks, describes the record’s closing number as “a seven-minute opus” that is “a string-swirling, Garland-invoking, jazzy, campy, swooning delight, packed with world-weary end-of-the-show reflection, and featuring a vocal for the ages.”

Ultimately, Adele says “30” contains a rollercoaster of emotion: “I feel like this album is self-destruction, then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption. But I feel ready. I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”

Adele also appears on the cover of the American edition of Vogue, with a completely different story as well as different cover shoot. It marks the first time the same person has fronted both Vogues simultaneously; read the U.S. edition’s story here.

Easy On Me,” the first single from “30,” is dropping on Oct. 15.

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